Every business needs customers and/or clients. In order to get new customers and clients, people need to know about you.
Doing a media relations campaign can get your company noticed by a wide array of audiences
A recent media campaign that I did for The Canadian School of Protocol and Etiquette fetched four hits in local media – that’s a lot. Not all campaigns will earn you that much attention and there’s no guarantee that someone will want to pick up your story; a disaster like September 11 may happen on the same day as your event or naked PETA girls may be parading downtown on the same day as you are mounting a Remembrance Day ceremony (actual story).
Another campaign for a different client, Minto Properties, owners of Cherryhill Village Mall, gained attention in three outlets – one of them being a piece on the evening news, which is always good.
So here are some definite Dos and Don’ts for a successful media relations campaign:
Do – Start by figuring out your ‘story’
Do – Start with a formal media release
Do – Have a solid list of targeted journalists/outlets (and only send your media release to those it’s relevant to; not every story is appropriate to send to every local outlet.)
Do – Email your media release, but then follow up by phone
Do – Work on your interview/speaking skills (be a confident speaker and know your facts/messaging)
Do – Stay on point during the interview
Don’t – Make the reporter/writer chase you; journalists are busy people, so make yourself easily available.
Don’t – Commandeer the conversation (give complete answers but let the journalist ask you questions)
Don’t – Use one word answers
Don’t – Ask if you can see the story before it’s printed (rookie mistake)
Do – Send a thank you email after the story is printed!